In a perfect world, you’d look for a job in the area you live in. However, sometimes life happens. Maybe you need to return home to care for an ill parent. Or your significant other gets transferred for work and you’d like to follow. Or the job market in your area changes and you have to move to find the right position.
While finding a job from afar comes with challenges, it’s certainly possible. Here are some tips on how to do a long-distance job search.
1. Know the local job market
The job market in your current area may be very different than the one where you’d like to move. Do some research and find out everything you can about the local job market. For example, if you’re looking for an information technology job, look at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook to learn about the employment rate and expected growth of IT jobs in the area. Having a good grasp of the local job market can help you set realistic expectations for your job search.
2. Get familiar with virtual interviews
It’s likely you’ll need to interview on Skype or other video conferencing software when looking for a job from a different location. Make sure you are familiar with this type of software and practice interviewing on it. You can have a friend or family member call you on it and ask you typical interview questions so you can master the virtual interview.
Don’t underestimate the power of networking when you’re trying to find a job from afar. Consider asking your friends on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social sites whether they have any connections in the area you’re relocating to. While putting yourself out there and networking may be scary at first, knowing the right person can give you an advantage when job hunting.
4. Get a local number
Some employers prefer local candidates. For this reason, you may want to get a local number through a service like Google Voice. Putting that number on your resume can hide the fact that you’re an out-of-towner. Leaving out your address is a smart move as well.
5. Ask for professional help
Local resources can help you find a job. Don’t be afraid to contact temp agencies, recruiters and universities that may have connections to local employers. They may open your eyes to opportunities you never knew existed.
6. Show excitement
While showing an employer you’re excited about a potential job is always important, it’s even more critical when you’re looking for a job from a distance. Since hiring is a big investment, an employer wants to know that they are making the right decision.
When you’re interviewing for jobs, reveal your enthusiasm for the company and the opportunity. This can help employers gain the confidence they need to know you’re the ideal candidate, despite the fact that you live far away.
7. Visit the area
If possible, plan a trip to the area and let employers know when you’ll be in town and available for an in-person interview. A visit to the area reveals you are serious about moving and are willing to do whatever it takes to land a job.
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Image: Nastia Kobzarenko